Finally I’ve got a bit of peace and quiet to properly explain what this blog is for.
I have this project to investigate whether it would be possible to cast my own statues out of molten aluminium from drinks cans. I’ve already started and have comments spread between different forums and Flickr. So I’ve started this blog to bring everything together in one place. I’ll put some of my Flickr pictures up on here, but they’re all in one set so if you click on one to get to Flickr, you’ll be able to see all the rest.
My initial thinking was that the Bronze Age started some 5,000 years ago, so surely it should be quite easy by now. I’ve always had an interest in pre-history so that inspired me to look into early forms of casting and that led me on to the subject of coffee can foundries. While my current foundry isn’t made in a coffee can per se, it is still very primitive and basic and does manage to melt aluminium using charcoal as a fuel and without any air being forced in to drive up the temperature.
The other side of the project is the actual making of the statues. Here, I am using Das air setting modelling clay to make an original statue. When I’m happy with this then I will use some sort of silicone rubber mix, usually used in candle mould making, to make a rubber mould of it. This will be used to produce wax blanks, like candles without wicks. These wax statues will be packed in foundry sand and baked in an oven, which will melt the wax. Finally I’ll take the blocks with the sand in and pour in molten aluminium, which will (hopefully) produce statues. My inspiration for the statue design is the Willendorf Venus, and other goddess statues of that era.
In this way, the whole project will tie together very modern ideas, like drinks cans and aluminium, with older ones, from both the Bronze Age, and then even further back into the Stone Age, to evoke something 25,000 years old. It is also a very direct link to recycling. I’ve shown several friends the lump of aluminium and they’ve been very interested. It’s so different to most people’s experience of recycling, which is sending stuff away in a lorry never to be seen again. Here, it’s real and direct. I’m collecting my own cans, from friends and colleagues and trying to pick one up as rubbish each day as well.